English/Spanish blog from somewhere in La Mancha / Blog en inglés y español de un lugar de La Mancha

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Gracias por visitarnos.

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Say or Tell


This is something like are you saying this or are you telling it to me but a trifle more complicated. There are a few details you should bear in mind. 

Esto es algo así como me lo dices o me lo cuentas pero en bastante más complicado. Hay unos cuantos detalles que conviene recordar.

Para decir algo, usa “say.”
Para decirle algo a alguien, usa “tell.”
I said I was happy. / Dije que estaba contento.
I told you I was happy. / Te dije a ti que estaba contento.

Pero se puede decir algo a alguien con “say to…”
I said to her that I was happy. / Le dije a ella que estaba contento.
Es imprescindible el “to.” Y esto no siempre suena muy bien, aunque sea correcto.

Tell se usa para:
- contar un cuento /  tell a story
Susan told (us) a very funny story during lunch. / Susana (nos) contó una historia muy graciosa durante el almuerzo.
- contar un chiste / tell a joke
That comedian tells really funny jokes. / Ese cómico cuenta chistes realmente graciosos. 
- decir la verdad / tell the truth
Bill finally told (his wife) the truth about where he went last night. Guille por fin contó (a su mujer) la verdad sobre dónde estuvo anoche.
- contar o decir una mentira /  tell a lie
Peter tells (everybody) the most unbelievable lies. / Pedro cuenta (a todo el mundo) las mentiras más increibles.
- decir la hora / tell the time
Can you please tell me what time it is?
¿Puedes por favor decirme que hora es?
- predecir el futuro /  tell one´s fortune
The fortuneteller told Jane´s fortune.
La adivina predijo el futuro de Juana.

Say y tell se pueden usar en preguntas normalmente:
Did she say she was coming? / ¿Dijo que iba a venir?
Did she tell you she was coming? / ¿Te dijo a ti que iba a venir?
What did she say? / ¿Qué dijo?
When did she tell you that? / ¿Cuándo te dijo eso?

Pero no se pueden usar ni say ni tell con preguntas indirectas. Hay que usar ask.
She asked (us) what we were doing in her house.
Nos preguntó (a nosotros) que estábamos haciendo nosotros en su casa.
I asked Mary why she was sad.
Le pregunté a María por qué estaba triste.
The cook asked Fred if he was hungry.
El cocinero le preguntó a Fede si estaba hambriento.

Test: Fill in with say, tell, or ask
1. The concierge ­­­____________ me a man was waiting for me in the hall.
2. Clara ____________ that she had received many beautiful birthday presents.
3. Don´t believe George. It´s clear he´s lying. Look how he´s laughing.  He is ____________ you a lie.
4. Jane ____________ that it was twelve o´clock when the phone rang.
5. Mary can´t ___________ us what time it is. She doesn´t have a watch either.
6. The teacher ___________ the pupils to keep their books.
7. Ralph always ___________ interesting stories.
8. They ____________ they had bought the red car.
9- Herbie _____________ that he liked our cookies.
10. “The Storyteller” is a TV show where an old man and his dog ___________ children´s stories.
11. My boss _____________ that I was a good employee.
12. Mr. White _____________ the maid to open the door.
13. Julia _____________ me if I had received her e-mail.
14. Mrs. Ellis __________ her daughter to remember to buy rice.
15.  The French boy ___________Alice that his name was Pierre.
16. She _____________ us not to forget to turn off the lights.
17. The policeman ____________ the little boy where he lived.
18.  Sylvia _______________ her boyfriend a terrible lie.
19. He ________________ that he had to leave.
20.  What did Bill ________________ Alice?
21. Paula ___________ me where she could buy a beautiful dress for little money.
22. Alfred ____________ if Jenna was at home.
23. Rita ___________ her husband if he still loved her.
24. Rita´s husband ___________ her that he still loved her.
25. Rita´s husband __________ that, yes, he still loved her.
26. Robert __________ his sister that she had to help him.
27. Robert __________ his sister to help him.
28. Charles is very honest. He always __________ the truth.
29. Use the tarot cards to _____________ Kay´s fortune.
30. Dr. Abu _________ Monica to take this medicine twice a day.
31. “Go away!” __________ Angela.
32. “Where is Alex?” __________ his sister.
33. “I want to buy some ice-cream,” Lorena _________ me.
34.  “Let me pay for the tickets,” _________ Matt.
35. “I´m awfully tired tonight,” _________ Paul.
36.-37.  ______ something funny. _________ us one of your jokes. 
38. Why are you ___________ me this?
39. Nell __________ me  some very interesting gossip. 
40. Abigail and Howie are always ___________ absurd stuff.
41. Don´t _________ me you forgot to fetch Keith!
42. They ________ Alanna is a very beautiful girl.
43. How must I __________ you that you can´t smoke here?
44. That sign _________ you can´t park here.
45. There is a poster on the wall that _________ we must keep calm and carry on.
46. If you´ve heard the latest news, __________ it to me. I have no idea what is going on in the world.
47. What did you _________ when they asked you for your passport?
48. Who _________ it is better to give than to receive?
49. I __________, what is happening here?
50. People _________ the food in that restaurant is very good.

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